Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me


As a child I always thought Adam Sandler films were a work of comedy genius. Watching films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Mr Deeds or even 50 First Dates these to me as a child and still today makes me laugh. With these types of films people always see him as the funny actor. Watching so many of his films no matter how awful they can be there was one film that I really thought that would change his career as a funny guy actor to a somewhat mediocre actor. Just like how Jim Carrey wanted to show the world that he can be a serious actor. By doing films like; The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind these two timeless films are a perfect example of when funny actors go serious. Reign Over Me directed by Mike Binder staring Adam Sandler as the 911 widow Charlie Finemen and his old college roommate Don Cheadle as Alan Johnson. The film tells the story men who lost his entire family in 911 run into each other and befriend each other once again after many years. Their old found friendship help each other deal with one and others problems. What makes this films so great its not your typical 911 film. Some people don’t even realize that Reign Over Me is a 911 film, even though the film doesn't dwell on the actual events of the day. The film focuses on the people that lost their loved of that tragic day and Charlie being one of those victims. Reign Over me is a wonderful story of two friends finding each other and being there.

Adam Sandler (Charlie Finemen)
Charlie’s character is the perfect example of someone with post dramatic stress. Continuously playing video games and losing himself in this world. Playing “Shadow of Colossus” is his way of escaping the real world. The constant redoing of his kitchen is the never letting go faze between him and his wife. He promised his wife he would finish the kitchen but they never did.  Usually when someone loses someone dear to them they can never let go and in this case the only thing holding Charlie’s character to his wife is the kitchen. By finishing the kitchen he psychologically acknowledges her death. The soundtrack of the film is whatever Charlie listened to in his headphones. I can see that Mike Binder wanted the audience to listen to the same music that Charlie was listening to. To hide the outside world Charlie would put on his headphones and listen to what’s on his iPod. This is a fantastic way of making the audience connect with Charlie because by hiding the outside world and being in Charlie’s music we are subconsciously entering in “Charlie World”

Charlie Finemen & Alan Johnson
Charlie’s and Alan’s friendship is seen as if their college days have never passed even though Charlie has become a withdrawn shadow of his former self. Be that as it may they both have their moments of; Riding double on a scooters, late night jamming sessions, walking late on the streets of New York and video games. The core of their friendship is simply just hanging out even though Charlie is a very emotionally destroyed person and that’s what I really do admire about Reign Over Me. The very soul of the film it’s just about two guys who don’t have anyone to talk apart from each other.  As the film carries on and we see more and more of Charlie breaking down but their relationship is always the same. Alan doesn’t talk about Charlie’s problem but instead just have their typical guy talk. For me those scenes when it’s just Charlie and Alan are the most connecting scenes to the two characters. In one scene we see Charlie have a total break down and the next scene is Alan and Charlie having Chinese together and Alan changes the subject and talk about how his wife doesn’t give him his space. What’s so great about the two characters is that Alan who is seen as a successful dentist and family man who has no friends and no hobby when Charlie who has nothing apart from his hobbies. The relationship between both characters is seen as a life line for each other. This film really just show the importance of a good friend and to be a good friend you don’t have to be there to hold them but just hang out and keep each other company.

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